Moovit

Sourced Box

Subscription box fulfilment

Set up by YouTubers Niomi Smart and Marcus Butler, SourcedBox is a subscription box that sources healthy, natural snacks and delivers them straight to your door. From freeze-dried fruits to superfood seeds, they use simple ingredients and exciting flavours to make healthy snacking more than just a trend, but a lifestyle.

The challenge

As they grew, their in-house fulfilment became too time-consuming to do themselves and a hassle to ship.

As two separate fitness, fashion and lifestyle YouTube influencers, Niomi and Marcus received an abundance of freebies over the years, and decided to collate them into SourcedBox to help make healthy living simple and exciting for their followers.

Each month they curate a selection of the best healthy snacks and bundle them into a box that’s delivered to their customers’ doors – a service that soon became popular.

Within just a week of launching, SourcedBox had over 2,000 annual subscribers and at their height were shipping over 1,000 boxes a month.

 

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‘I’ve been subscribed to SourcedBox since their first launch and have never been disappointed so far. There is lots of variety in each box and I’ve discovered so many new brands each month.’ – Corina Braendle, Customer

At this point, SourcedBox is the very definition of a fast-growing eCommerce business.

Managing the fulfilment in-house was feasible at the beginning. But of course such success brings growing pains with it – the main one being the hassle of shipping such a high level of orders. 

Often subscription box businesses can handle up to 100 orders a month themselves, but any more and it becomes a struggle.

Frequent trips to the Post Office can be a real headache for businesses. Not only does it eat into your time, but it’s not cost-effective. Shipping parcels yourself means you’re paying inflated shipping rates compared to the discounts 3PLs offer. For instance, it may cost £3.50 for an individual to send a small parcel, but a 3PL may be able to send it from £2.32. 

And whilst some businesses opt for Royal Mail’s collection service, you rely on the courier to arrive on time to pick up your parcels, which doesn’t always happen and can have a knock-on effect with your customers. 

Because subscription boxes are usually sent monthly or quarterly, it doesn’t warrant hiring someone full time to take care of the shipping. Often businesses will get help from family, friends or part time staff because it’s so infrequent. But, again, it’s not always a reliable way of getting goods out the door.

There’s also the issue of quality control and customisation. The whole experience for the customer is opening the box, so it’s not only what’s inside that’s important, but how it’s presented. Subscription boxes like SourcedBox are more thoughtful, personal and pride themselves on delivering a feeling of excitement and surprise to their customers. And that same feeling needs to be recreated by a 3PL.

When placing items in the box, it needs to be done with great care and attention. Boxes also usually include things like filler, handwritten notes and tissue paper secured by a branded sticker – which all take up time in the packing process.

These kinds of intricacies come at a cost with 3PLs, but when they also relieve you of the entire fulfilment process, outsourcing is a no-brainer.

SourcedBox reached their threshold and realised it wasn’t cost or time-effective to continue the fulfilment in-house. After weighing up the time spent processing orders versus focusing on the growth of their business, they decided to outsource their fulfilment to Parcel Master.

The solution

Partner with a 3PL who could take the responsibility off their hands, whilst maintaining the same level of attention to detail in the packing stage.

In short, SourcedBox outgrew their in-house fulfilment and needed the support of a 3PL to manage it for them.

After ensuring there was enough margin in their box to handle the cost of fulfilment – something that’s key for subscription boxes to do as pricing methods are going to be different based on how many items are included in each box – they partnered with us.

With our pick packing service, storage solution and returns management, we were able to remove the burden of fulfilment and provide a scalable service that can grow with them.

We could also fulfil their intricate packing needs – offering the same level of quality and hand-packaged finish with every box – which was integral to SourcedBox when choosing a 3PL. Of course it came at an extra cost, but they were also saving on shipping costs, and when combined with the ability to regain the cost of lost opportunities due to time, it proved to be a more cost-effective solution.

Our warehouse also helped ensure goods were ready to be shipped for the following month. SourcedBox would typically include around 10 items per box, which meant they would be receiving around 10 different pallet’s worth of goods from suppliers that needed storing.

By having access to a much larger and readily available storage area – where products are stored and packed all under the same roof – they’re able to get ahead of next month’s orders much quicker.

The success

More time to focus on brand development and business growth.

Their success is simple yet effective. By using us, SourcedBox was able to refocus its attention on other key areas of the business, such as marketing (social media in particular), product development and customer service, whilst maintain a smooth-running, hands-off operation. 

‘Great snacks, I loved how there was a wide range of snacks and that the box was great value. I was not dissatisfied with any of the products and was most pleased with how quick the box came and how well put together it was.’  – Julie Nash, Customer

Their growth was no longer a hindrance to the practicalities of fulfilment. Instead, they have the support of a 3PL that can scale with them, as well as a ready-made, agile team that can quickly react to changing demand.

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And dealing with postal services was no longer their problem. Now they’re benefitting from a cheaper, more reliable shipping service that ensures customers receive their monthly boxes on-time – without the need to handle the unpredictability of couriers.

‘By far the best healthy snacks I’ve ever tried, packaged in one handy box. Excellent variety too, and a great mix of vegan/plant-based chocolates treats, fruity flavours, teas, a special drink and much more!’  – Mariam Ayaz, Customer

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Abby Simmonds
Sourced Box

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